As part of efforts in living up to its creed, as a foremost catalyst of growth and development of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm) recently staged a two- day retreat to prepare the Pharmacy profession and the pharmaceutical industry for a better future.
According to the President of the academy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adelusyi, the retreat, which was attended by major stakeholders in the Pharmacy space, was organised after a similar programme scheduled to hold in year 2020 was put on hold by the academy due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“A little over two years after a pandemic forced us to put on hold the programme which the academy had been planning on a review of pharmaceutical education in Nigeria, we have returned to the visioning table. The objective? To prepare our profession for a future, which as the COVID-19 pandemic has so palpably demonstrated, is in such a state of flux that is almost impossible to imagine”, the president said.
He noted that such retreat becomes imperative for every profession that focuses on the future to carry out dispassionate self-examination, review past and present as well as the assessment of what the future holds. He said “If we must correctly imbibe the lessons that today’s development possibly underscore for the future, then we must eschew ego and emotion and dispassionately seek a pathway into a future that will best guarantee a win-win for mankind and our profession”.
Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that the academy is known over the years as a front-runner in the advocacy for enhanced government and policy-making which focus on pharmaceutical research and scientific research in general. He stated that the efforts of the academy at various fronts are well documented, adding that the academy will continue to drive the process that foster interprofessional collaboration between medical and pharmaceutical professionals.
The NAPharm president expressed optimism that the retreat will not be a one off. He said “We hope that every few years, we should be able to re-assemble to re-examine our circumstances and how well we are positioning our profession for the future”. Prince Adelusi- Adeluyi posited that the wellbeing and the direction that Pharmacy profession is going should the concern of every professional.
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, Pharmanews Publisher, who was the chairman, Retreat Planning Committee, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, said NAPharm has considered it expedient to pool together stakeholders from various sections of Pharmacy to deeply reflect on the current position of Pharmacy and the desired direction the profession should be going. The octogenarian also pointed out that the public perception of pharmacists and how to improve it should be a subject that every pharmacist should always think about so as to take the Pharmacy profession in Nigeria to greater height.
Sir Atueyi, welcomed members to the historical facility of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Yaba, from where the early pharmacists were trained as chemists & druggists up to 1956. According to him, pharmaceutical education metamorphosed to Diploma of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology Ibadan from 1957 and then the Diploma of the University of Ife, Ibadan Branch up to 1965. The Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) of the University of Ife, Ile Ife, started in 1962 at the Ibadan Campus.
He said, “The early medical doctors were also trained in the Yaba Medical School which was founded in 1930. The NAFDAC laboratory also started in this location. The pharmaceutical manufacturing laboratory that served the basic needs of government hospitals was also in this premises. The office of the Registrar of the Pharmacists Board of Nigeria (now Pharmacists Council of Nigeria) started from this place also. This venue is the cradle of pharmaceutical and medical education and thanked God for bringing us back to the ancestral home of Pharmacy in Nigeria”.
Goodwill messages were received from the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The Retreat functioned in six major subcommittees namely: Pharmacy Situation Report (SITREP); Education; Professional Practice; Regulatory; Mentoring; and Leadership chaired by Prof. Cyril Usifoh; Pharm. Prof. Isa Marte Hussaini; Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, Pharm. (Dr) NAE Mohammed; Pharm. Olu Akanmu and Pharm. (Chief) Paul Enebeli respectively.
Participants comprised pharmacists from various sectors – Deans of Schools of Pharmacy, hospitals, community practice, industry, pharmacy students, young pharmacists group, ministries of health, West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), PSN, PCN, NAFDAC, NIPRD, SON, and Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) represented by the President, Dr Teresa Pounds.